State health department changes internal vaccination policy for kids due to state legislators concerns

State leaders react to new vaccine mandate

The new rule basically says anyone under 19 will need parental consent if they want to get the COVID vaccine.

Posted: Sep 14, 2021 5:26 PM

The Alabama Department of Public Health is no longer vaccinating people under 19 unless they have parental consent.

The policy went into effect this summer in late June to early July, but it was never publicly announced.

The new rule basically says anyone under 19 will need parental consent if they want to get the COVID vaccine. That is unless that person is an emancipated minor.

However, Alabama law says kids 14 and up are able to get the COVID vaccine without their parent's permission.

WAAY 31 asked Dr. Karen Landers with the state health department if parents played a role on the change in policy. She says the feedback that lead to the change came from state legislators, not parents.

"We did have some legislators have concerns and based upon that a decision was made that we would make this internal change within our clinics," Dr. Landers said.

Dr. Landers could not identify the legislators who raised the concerns. However, there is a representative from Mobile who has already pre-filed a bill to change the law that allows minors to get the vaccine without parental consent.

It's important to note that this change only applies to clinics with the Alabama Department of Public Health. That includes local health departments and their outreach vaccine clinics.

Other entities like hospitals and pharmacies are not impacted by this change and can give out the vaccine to minors 14 and up without parental consent.

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